Deporting Black Britons

Portraits of deportation to Jamaica

By Luke de Noronha

Deporting Black Britons


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4399-0
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: September 2020
  • BIC Category: Sociology, Social & cultural anthropology, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Race & Ethnic Relations, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General, Social discrimination & inequality, Society & social sciences / Migration, immigration & emigration, Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography
  • Series: Manchester University Press


In the last two decades, the UK has deported thousands of people to Jamaica. Many of these 'deportees' left the Caribbean as infants and grew up in the UK. Deporting Black Britons traces the life stories of four such men who have been exiled from their parents, partners, children and friends by deportation. It explores how 'Black Britons' survive once they are returned to Jamaica, and questions what their memories of poverty, racist policing and illegality reveal about contemporary Britain.

Based on years of research with deported people and their families, Deporting Black Britons presents stories of survival and hardship in both the UK and Jamaica. These intimate portraits testify to the damage wrought by violent borders, opening up wider questions about racism, belonging and deservingness in anti-immigrant times.


'In these extraordinary portraits of exile Luke de Noronha illustrates through human experience how racism operates in Britain and beyond. This is what we mean when we say Black Lives Matter.'
Gary Younge, Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester

'De Noronha's unique and intimate study of young people caught up in Britain's deportation machine reveals the damage done by Britain's immigration system. You can't understand modern Britain without understanding the lives of the people he writes about.'
Daniel Trilling, author of Lights in the distance

'In this moving and memorable book, de Noronha provides an incisive and intimate portrait of postcolonial, neoliberal, austerity Britain from the ethnographic standpoint of Black Britons expelled from their home, labelled 'foreign criminals' and cast into destitution as 'deportees' in Jamaica. Racialised, criminalised and finally 'migrantised', the young British men at the center of this book embody the postcolonial agonies of the UK from which they have been exiled by deportation.'
Nicholas De Genova, co-editor of The Deportation Regime and editor of The Borders of "Europe"

'Stories that stick in your throat and in your heart. Academic writing should be like this, less ego more poetry, because deep down we all understand that there is so much more at stake. I hope one day we look back at this beautiful terrible book and wonder how such cruelties were ever tolerated.'
Gargi Bhattacharyya, author of Rethinking racial capitalism

'This book shows the devastating impacts of deportation on "Black Britons" and their loved ones, mapping the human consequences of racialised state violence and cruelty. Read it. get angry, and organise.'
Bridget Anderson, Director of Migration Mobilities Bristol

'This book will be of interest to scholars far beyond critical race studies alone, as the insights are relevant to scholars critically examining immigration policies, their consequences and especially its connections with racism, classicism and gender performances. But, perhaps more importantly, this book shows anti-racist academics and activists the need to challenge all forms of immigration control, as borders inevitably reconfigure race and racism.'
Ethnic and Racial Studies

'Deporting Black Britons should be read by anyone committed to the struggle against racism, police brutality, borders, and the actors and technologies that criminalise and "illegalise" the right to mobility.'
Border Criminologies

'Deporting Black Britons: portraits of deportations to Jamaica is a rarity among academic texts - a pioneering and practical intervention that reframes theoretical discussions of state racism even as it encourages activism on the ground.'
Race and Class


1 Introduction
2 Jason
3 Ricardo
4 Chris
5 Denico
6 Family and friends: Witnessing deportation and hierarchies of (non) citizenship
7 Post-deportation: Citizenship and the racist world order
8 Deportation as foreign policy: Meanings of development and the ordering of (im)mobility
Afterword, by Chris


Luke de Noronha is an academic and writer working at the Sarah Parker Remond Centre at UCL. He has written widely on the politics of immigration, racism and deportation and has produced a podcast called Deportation Discs. He grew up in Manchester and now lives in London.

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